Beef Stew

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Beef Stew is my favorite winter time soup recipe.  I didn’t appreciate Beef Stew until I was a grown up so I am trying to get the kids a head start on loving it.  It is also one of Em’s favorite meals.  I make this Beef Stew with no store bought bullion.  It isn’t out of spite I make it without bullion, I just didn’t have any bullion one day, when I started to make Beef Stew and it came out great so I never went back.

We have no shortage of dried herbs in the house, from the garden, so I use a bunch of those to create a flavorful broth.  One other difference, I make mine with is to use dried celery leaf instead of chopped celery.  I don’t like the texture of celery in soup but I love the taste so that is my compromise.

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So this is a 2 1/2 hour project so it isn’t an ideal weeknight dinner but it makes enough for us to have a couple bowls of leftovers at some point during the week.

To start off I brown 1 pound of stew beef in the pot that I am going to make the stew in.  I salt and pepper each piece then brown in two batches.  This step is absolutely crucial to a delicious stew!

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Once they are browned and removed from pan I add 3 cups water to pan and scrape bits from bottom into water.  To the water I add 2 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and a 1/4 teaspoon each of black pepper, dried rosemary, dried sage, and dried thyme.  I bring that mixture to almost a boil while stirring and add the beef back in.  Reduce heat to simmer and cover pot.

Now you have an hour to waste until the next step starts.

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After 60 minutes we start round 2.  I remove the cover and at this point remove the 2 bay leaves.  It is easier to do at this point then when the pot is filled with veggies and thickened.  Into the pot goes 3 carrots unpeeled sliced into coins, 2 yellow potatoes diced, 1 large yellow onion diced large.  I add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and another 1/4 teaspoon pepper at this point.  Increase the temperature to bring pot back to another near boil and add 1 teaspoon corn start dissolved in 1 teaspoon water into pot.  After stirring everything together I reduce heat again to simmer and cover again.  It gets another hour in the pot like this.

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Part three is easy and much quicker then the last two.  After the veggies get their hour I remove cover and add 1 cup frozen peas and 1 tablespoon dried crushed celery leaf.  I let this continue to simmer 10-15 more minutes uncovered to finish.

Now you just have to scoop out into really large bowls and enjoy.  This goes really well with Homemade Bread.  I tried to teach Spence and Norah how to dunk bread into broth and eat it.  They looked at me like I was some type of crazy monster.  Baby steps on that I guess.

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Beef Stew
Recipe Type: Dinner
Author: Blogging with Apples
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 2 hours 15 mins
Total time: 2 hours 25 mins
Serves: 8
A homemade beef stew made with no store bought bullion!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb stew beef
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 large carrots unpeeled and sliced in coins
  • 2 large yellow potatoes diced
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch dissolved in 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon dried celery leaf
Instructions
  1. In a large pot on stove heat a teaspoon of olive oil to brown beef.
  2. Sprinkle salt and pepper on stew beef and brown in pot, in batches 1-2 minutes in each side.
  3. Remove browned beef from pot and add 3 cups water to pot. Increase heat to high and add 2 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, rosemary, thyme, sage, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir together.
  4. Once broth is about to boil add beef back into pan and reduce heat to simmer. Cover and let cook 1 hour.
  5. Uncover pot and remove bay leaves.
  6. Add carrots, potatoes, onions, and dissolved corn starch.
  7. Add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  8. Stir and bring pot back to near boil.
  9. Reduce heat to simmer and cover.
  10. Cook for another hour.
  11. Uncover and add frozen peas and celery.
  12. Stir and continue to cook uncovered 15 more minutes.
  13. Serve and enjoy!
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Jeff McIntosh

About Jeff McIntosh

Jeff's family lives in his childhood home on a 1/4 acre in town lot. Despite the small space to work with, they have challenged ourselves to produce as much of our own food as possible — and cook it! They document their journey at Blogging with Apples.